Definition of colossus in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈlɒsəs/

noun (plural colossi /kəˈlɒsʌɪ/ or colossuses)

1A statue that is much bigger than life size: two statues known as the Colossi of Memnon
More example sentences
  • We sit astride the globe like a mighty colossus.
  • The Colossus was built by Chares of Lindus in 280 BCE to celebrate the Rhodian victory over the Macedonians and to thank the god Helios for protecting them.
  • The Colossus of Rameses is an enormous statue carved in limestone.
1.1A person or thing of enormous size, importance, or ability: the Russian Empire was the colossus of European politics
More example sentences
  • Though only a provincial leader, she is, in the words of a political commentator, ‘a colossus who dominates national politics’.
  • One might have thought such an unlikely colossus of Australian political history would have encouraged a few level-headed intellectuals and journalists to write a serious biography.
  • Brown's speech last week confirmed him as a political colossus.


bestride something like a colossus

Totally dominate a place or area of activity: he bestrode French cinema like a colossus the Hapsburg empire had bestrode Europe like a colossus
More example sentences
  • The Father of the Nation, who once bestrode the world like a colossus, had left us orphaned.
  • Not that he was a formidable figure bestriding the political scene like a colossus.
  • The man who bestrides the sumo world like a colossus has been implicated in match-fixing claims that are rocking Japan's national sport.


Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek kolossos (applied by Herodotus to the statues of Egyptian temples).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: col¦os|sus

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